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What A-levels do you need to study law?

Budding barrister or solicitor? See if A-level law is a must-have to study it at degree level, examples of law degree entry requirements universities ask for and more...

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Law degree entry requirements – A-levels

What A-level subjects are needed or essential for law? 

None, generally speaking!

While law is a subject available at A-level, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear that you don’t have to have taken it in order to progress onto a law degree later – this is normally open to you with any A-levels.

That said, some universities may require one or two specific subjects to be in your A-level line-up. See our section on law entry requirement examples below, or search for a course now to see what specific universities are asking for.

That A-level law isn't a must-have according to universities' entry requirements is good news if you’re not 100% certain that it's the degree path you want to pursue (or if you change your mind by the time you apply to university); you can keep your A-level choices open, rather than restrict them in order to meet any law course entry requirements.

You can still take A-level law to get a feel for what the subject involves before committing to study it for three years at degree-level – but don't feel like you've missed your chance of applying to a law degree, if you didn't study it at A-level. Learn more about what universities think of A-level law.

Certain A-level choices can help prepare you for law at degree level; this includes A-level law itself, as well as A-level English (which is why some universities ask for this as a required or preferred subject). These may give you an edge over other applicants in this competitive subject area. We'd recommend searching for and comparing law courses to get a rough idea of what universities are looking for.

Students who want to take law are often told to study the likes of English literature and law at A-level, but I personally think people should study what they like and are good at. Law students don't have to study law beforehand.
I think English and history probably help in the sense that they refine your essay writing skills. My essay writing skills needed work when I got to university, but I caught up in the end! Anke Batty, Lawyer

Read our full lawyer Q&A, including more about applying to and studying law at university, the life of a lawyer and more.

Watch now: how to choose your A-levels

Alternatively, what A-level subjects are useful for law?

  • critical thinking may help with the Law National Admissions Test (LNAT) – but to keep your options open, the subject is better done as a fifth AS-level.
  • essay-based subjects such as history or English will set you in good stead for law at degree level.
  • many law students take at least one 'facilitating' subject such as a foreign language, maths, science, English, history or geography, which are deemed as good choices for students who want to keep their degree options flexible.

Choosing your A-levels? See where different combinations can lead with our Explorer tool.


Other typical A-levels taken by current law students

  • maths
  • law
  • French

You can browse law courses here on Which? University to learn more, including full entry requirements and the common A-level subjects current students apply with – compare these to get an idea of how flexible a university may be on the subjects they actually accept, against what they ask for upfront.


GCSE entry requirements for law

Most universities will require five GCSEs at grade 9-4 (or A-C under the old grading system), though you’ll probably need to satisfy these anyway to progress on to A-levels (or equivalent) regardless of what subject/s you plan to study.

Furthermore, a university may ask for specific minimum grades at GCSE in English and maths. 

Take a look at our section on actual university requirements below, or browse law courses to see what specific universities say about GCSE requirements. 

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    Examples of law degree requirements

    Below are a range of Bachelor of Law (with Honours) courses offered by different universities and the A-level entry requirements they ask for (as of 8 January 2019):

    University of Edinburgh: ‘Detailed entry requirement: ABB including English Literature or English Language. Note: English Language and English Literature GCSE both at Grade A or 7 are accepted in place of A Level English.’

    University of Oxford: ‘AAA.’

    Aston University: ‘ABB-BBB. 5 GCSE grades A*- C to include: GCSE Maths – grade C/4 GCSE English – grade B/5 Please note that General Studies does not contribute towards the UCAS points requirement but is welcomed as an additional qualification.’

    Glasgow Caledonian University: ‘BBB including English/Law at B and GCSE Maths C/4.’

    As well as satisfying any qualification and grade requirements, you’ll need to write a strong personal statement to stand out and possibly sit an entry test


    Other similar degree subjects

    Not so sure that you want to study law at university? These degree subjects have similar A-level subject requirements:

    Bear in mind that even similar degree subjects like these could have slightly different A-level requirements to law. So if you do want to keep your degree options open, be sure to check the entry requirements of specific courses.

    Search for a degree course or subject now to get a good grasp of what you might need to satisfy. Alternatively, learn more about studying law at degree-level, read our law subject guide.

    Where could your A-levels take you?

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